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Cincinnati Bengals

One number for every game this season

Russell Heltman

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It’s finally here.

After eight long months, Bengals football is back and seemingly revived following an offseason of turnover and rebirth across the roster. Now it’s time to see the results on the field and find out what this team is capable of. Here are 16 meaningful numbers for every Bengals game this season.

WEEK 1: @ Indianapolis Colts

Number: 20

Andrew Luck is making his first start for the Colts in 20 months. That’s something this Bengals team, especially the front seven, should be able to take advantage of. Cincinnati fields one of the deepest defensive line groups in the NFL. Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo could be out, which would make things even worse for Luck.

WEEK 2: Baltimore Ravens

Number: 25.2

When the Bengals made their final cuts, the average age of the roster was 25.2 years old. That made them one of the three youngest teams in the league. There isn’t a lot of experience on either side of the ball going into a home opener against a division rival. A lot of new faces have to step up for the Bengals to succeed this season and it starts by outplaying Baltimore in front of the home crowd.

 WEEK 3: @ Carolina Panthers

Number: 107

It was a wild affair four years ago in Charlotte, Cam Newton led the Panthers offense to 37-37 tie with 391 total yards including 107 on the ground. If that happens again don’t expect the Bengals to bring home a victory in the Battle of Queen Cities. Cincinnati gave up 109 yards across four running quarterback matchups last season.

WEEK 4: @ Atlanta Falcons

Number 46.4 percent

The Bengals offense dominated headlines in a bad way this offseason but the defense was quietly solid last season especially in the red zone where they ranked 4th in touchdown scoring percentage. The Falcons offense finished 23rd on the flip side of that stat and were 1-5 on red zone tries in their opener against Philadelphia.

WEEK 5: Miami Dolphins

Number: 1

While Marvin Lewis is 3-3 all-time against the Miami Dolphins, he has matched up against the same head coach just once. Consistency in Miami has been tough to find over the past 15 years, Joe Philbin was the only coach to face Lewis twice. Ironically, they were two close victories for the Dolphins, barring a disastrous first month for Miami, Adam Gase will get his second crack at Lewis in week five.

WEEK 6: Pittsburgh Steelers

Number: 8

15 years in and Marvin Lewis has accrued 8 victories against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 32 games.

The Bengals haven’t knocked off the black and yellow in Paul Brown Stadium since September 2013 and this could be their best chance yet if Le’veon Bell is serious about his early season holdout.

WEEK 7: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Number: 142.2

Andy Reid always has his teams ready play, but when the Kansas City Chiefs perform at Arrowhead Stadium they are a different animal. Arrowhead and the Chiefs hold the record for loudest stadium crowd roar at 142.2 decibels. The Bengals dominated 28-6 in Kansas City six years ago and are looking to push the series winning streak to five games.

WEEK 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Number: 136

Amidst the James Winston controversy, there is a strong chance Ryan Fitzpatrick will be barking out calls at the line of scrimmage for Tampa Bay. William Jackson III and the Bengals secondary will be ready for Fitsy and his 136 career interceptions which ranks 73rd all time. He could realistically crack the top 60 of that group this season and Bengals will gladly help him get there.

WEEK 10: New Orleans Saints

Number: 1,078

Drew Brees has cemented his status as one of the all-time greats and he’s played like it against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brees has thrown for 1,078 yards in three games against Cincinnati in a Saints uniform. New Orleans is absolutely loaded with offensive weapons this season, a repeat of the 522-yard performance from 2006 is possible.

WEEK 11: @ Baltimore 

Number: 0

It was a nightmare start to the year in 2017 and it all came to a head during the week one shutout in Baltimore. That should be burned deep into the minds of every returning player and give them an extra edge against a Baltimore team that could be led by Lamar Jackson at this point in the season.

WEEK 12: Cleveland Browns 

Number: 18

The Browns are getting plenty of hype this season and some of it is warranted when you look at their revival at quarterback. 2017 starter Deshone Kizer led the league with 22 interceptions, while his replacement for this season, Tyrod Taylor, threw four. That 18 turnover gap should give the Browns a lot more chances to win this season and they won’t make it easy for a Bengals defense that finished 31st in takeaways last season.

WEEK 13: Denver Broncos

Number: 5

Von Miller is an All-Pro and one of the premier players at his position, he’s played like it against the Bengals. In six matchups he has five sacks and the offseason pairing of him and Bradley Chubb should strike fear into any opposing offensive line. Bobby Hart is a first-year starter for the Bengals at right tackle and if he still has that job in week 13 he will have his hands full.

WEEK 14: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Number: 4,431

Philip Rivers and the Chargers led the NFL with 4,431 passing yards last year using a dynamic attack featuring every skill position in the offense. Meanwhile, the Bengals finished 8th in passing yards allowed, the matchups between LA skill players and the Bengals secondary will be key all afternoon.

WEEK 15: Oakland Raiders

Number: 4,346

Jon Gruden hasn’t coached against Marvin Lewis and the Bengals since October 15, 2006, or roughly 4,346 days. Oakland just traded away their best player, Khalil Mack,  from a defense that ranked 29th in the league last year with him on the field. It could be a long season in Oakland and they start winding it down with a trip to Cincinnati.

WEEK 16: @ Cleveland 

Number: 4

The Browns have been a laughing stock for the majority of their time as a franchise and their matchups with the Bengals are no different. Cleveland is 4-12 against Cincinnati this decade and hasn’t taken out Andy Dalton and Co. in Cleveland since September 29, 2013. The odds keep stacking against the Hardland of America.

WEEK 17: @ Pittsburgh 

Number: $853,000

Le’veon Bell is the lifeblood of the Steelers offense, accounting for 85 percent of the teams rushing yards and 13 percent of the teams receiving yards last season. He is holding out to start the season because the man wants to get paid, but he will be playing in this game barring injury. The week 17 matchup has playoff implications written all over it and I highly doubt he misses it, I know I won’t.

A Cincinnati sports fan since before he could walk, Russ grew up in Anderson Township and currently attends Ohio University where he is pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Aside from cheering on all of the lovable losers in Cincinnati, Russ is an avid golfer and diehard Charlotte Hornets fan. When he's not breaking down the Bengals on 97 WATH you can find his analysis and thoughts on everything Orange and Black right here.

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Cincinnati Bengals

Three-Wide Set, All My Bengals

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

There was a soap opera that was on television, when I was a kid, that I would see when I stayed home sick from school. Figured the title fits what has happened with the Bengals the last few days, so I tweaked it for this week’s three-wide set, what’d you think?

  1. Teryl Austin out, Marvin Lewis in…again.So the most obvious move, ever, happened Monday with the separation of the Bengals and their defunct defensive director. Austin seemed like a good guy, and all, but his defense was horrendous. In case you’ve lived under a rock and are just now delving into the Bengals 2018 season, they are last in all the NFL in yards allowed. Somehow, they are not last, but second to last in points allowed. In fact, as Jay Morrison remarked on Twitter, the Bengals are 11th in points scored this season, but 28th in point differential. That’s how bad this defense has been. One more oh wow moment with bad defense is I am pretty sure, without looking, that the last two Bengals opponents haven’t punted. (Checks stats) Ok, they forced two punts in the Buccaneers game. That being said, opposing offenses had converted over 50% of their third down attempts against the Cincinnati defense. That’s not great. Oh, and one more, one more, oh wow moment: the Bengals became the first team in NFL history to allow 500+ yards in three-straight games…okay, I am done.
    Enter Marvin to “fix” the defense. Not sure it can be done, at this point, but to be real, it can’t get worse. Like, when you’re last, you can’t be more last. Just like if you’re dead, you can’t die again. Yet, somehow, with the worst defense in the league, the Bengals are not dead.  Lewis can schematically fix the defense (which doesn’t help the tackling) and may be able to up the ante on the pass rush, as this defense has been the most passive I’ve seen since Marvin came aboard, but will it be enough? If they pull out a win this Sunday in Baltimore, it will put them in a nice spot for the 2nd wild card spot, if they don’t get it together and lose to Baltimore then the three-wide set might start looking at three draft prospects for the Bengals, each week.
  1. Hue Jackson is back, again again. Welcome back home Mike Brown’s favorite son not named Marvin. The prodigal son returns as he, once again, tried to take his inheritance and go off to another team to make a name for himself, only to find himself, yet again, an assistant on the Bengals coaching staff. This time it’s very Dwight Schrute-esque as he is the “Special Assistant to the Head Coach.” Read that, “assistant to the head coach,” not “assistant head coach.” Here’s hoping Bill Lazor puts his stapler in jello.
    I really do not know how to feel. The “in the moment” side of me likes it for the simple fact he can provide inside info on the Browns, who the Bengals haven’t played, and he might be able to help out a now double-duty Marvin. But the “big picture” side of me hates this. Now it gives a reason for Mike Brown to let go of Marvin Lewis, after his contract expires, and seamlessly transition to another coach he likes. Brown now doesn’t have to go through the necessary, desperately needed painful process of interviewing new coaches who could possibly provide fresh-thinking to a team that desperately needs it. Instead he can hand over the keys to the coach’s office, without any hullabaloo, to a man who does not deserve it (objectively) but, rather, is someone who Mike Brown sees as a son. Ugh…
  1. John Ross scored! That’s right, much congratulations to the man who has endured a lot of criticism, a lot of vitriol, a lot of unnecessary hate…I am talking, of course, about our fearless podcast host, James Rapien. I thought Ross looked good, I thought Andy was bad. JR15 was getting separation, making some guys miss on their coverage…and the ball fell short. Dalton underthrew him. What was the joke when Ross was drafted? “Great, now we can have the fastest dude in the NFL for Andy to still overthrow.” Well, he wasn’t overthrown, he was underthrown. Seriously, there was a tweet, can’t remember who (probably Joe Goodberry), that showed all of John Ross’ targets. The ones he didn’t catch, were bad throws. Plain and simple. Those who criticize Ross are not looking at the whole picture. I think he gets better and I think Andy can build a rapport with him, maybe even this week at Baltimore. Point is, fans and haters, John Ross is going to be just fine.

This is the biggest game of the year, this Sunday, at M&T Bank stadium. Last year, the Bengals knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs there. Will the Ravens get revenge? Or will the Bengals continue their recent dominance over the Ravens (eight wins in the last 10 games)? Stay tuned!

Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonBengals for more Cincinnati professional football content

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Cincinnati Bengals

Reacting to Austin’s firing and our film review with Joe Goodberry

James Rapien

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I discuss the Bengals firing defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Marvin Lewis taking over for him, plus Joe Goodberry joins me for our weekly film review. We talk about the Bengals’ 51-14 loss to the Saints, what can be fixed on defense, their issues on offense and more. Listen and subscribe to the podcast below.

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Cincinnati Bengals

The Saints march all over the Bengals 51-14

James Rapien

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The Saints dismantled the Bengals 51-14 on Sunday afternoon. Cincinnati falls to 5-4 and continues to struggle following a 4-1 start to the season. I recapped them game, discussed the defensive struggles, plus hear from Drew Brees, John Ross and I respond to your voicemails on a postgame edition of the Locked on Bengals podcast. Listen and subscribe below.

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